2022 Subaru Forester
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Is Subaru Too Cautious In The Move To All-Electric Models? - Subaru's CEO Says Why

Subaru takes the move to all-electric Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek models slowly. Here is why Subaru is so cautious in its approach.

Why is Subaru moving slowly in bringing its first all-electric model? Subaru is a small automaker and has around 4.35 percent market share in the U.S. according to a year-end report from CarSalesBase. Subaru is taking the slow approach like Toyota because of the risk involved.

In a recent interview with Automotive News, Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura mentioned the risk when he says," For the U.S. market, we're not sure how rapidly the electric vehicle market will grow."

2022 Subaru Forester
Photo credit: motor.es

Subaru collaborates with Toyota for its first-ever battery-electric car

Subaru has hitched its wagon to Toyota in developing its first-ever all-electric SUV. Nakamura says, "We are a small manufacturer, and we're not going to be able to cope with all the changes by ourselves. So we need to have the right partner, and we think that is Toyota."

Subaru will bring its new all-electric SUV sometime in 2022. Subaru says it will be about the size of the 2021 Forester compact SUV. The new EV will be a compliance car for California's emissions, where Subaru sells many of its new Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek SUVs.

2021 Subaru Forester pricing, features, specs

Subaru benefits by taking the slow approach by letting other automakers take much of the risk. "We wanted to minimize our investment because we're not sure how much profit this project is going to make. We also wanted to minimize the risk of entering the EV market. To hedge, the partnership with Toyota helped," Nakamura tells AN.

"Toyota has a lot of knowledge of electrified vehicles. So we thought working with Toyota would allow us to introduce an EV or hybrid faster. We can absorb Toyota's knowledge."

While Toyota plans to launch a "portfolio of battery-electric products," Subaru will launch one all-new model in early 2022. It will have limited availability in California and some eastern states. Even though it's developed with Toyota, Subaru will keep the new all-electric "distinctly Subaru."

Subaru will move slowly and cautiously in developing an all-electric Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek. "Based on that (how rapidly the EV market grows), we'll have to think about our strategy and how to add electrified vehicles."

You Might Also Like: 10 Things Subaru Won’t Change in 2021 And One They Should

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru, Photo credit: motor.es

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As much as EV enthusiasts would like to see the whole world using EVs exclusively, many consumers are not there yet. Subaru wasn't the first car company in the U.S. and they don't need to have the first EVs. Their success is based on the focus and design of Subaru's cars. As long as they keep producing cars with the features that people want, they will continue to be successful. The go-slow approach makes perfect sense. The train hasn't left the station and they aren't missing it. They'll get on board at the right time.
It is no surprise that they are taking the same ultra conservative approach as partner Toyota, as well as Honda, Mazda, and other Japanese automakers, who are dragging their feet, giving lame excuses why they can't build a competitive EV in today's world. The best incentive will be lost revenues against competitors who are not afraid to jump into the EV market.
They make money on service. All those blown head gaskets and ring land failures. These companies don't know how to fill the void of lack of maintenance. No belts, hoses, oil changes, diff and trans fluids, spark plugs etc. Toyota is Subaru only hope at this point
When introducing a new EV car, first impression is very significant . Subaru claims it only has limited R&D resources. So it has to spend it wisely and cautiously. Americans still love their gas burning engines. EV vehicles have less moving parts and service needs and are expected to be much more reliable. Service and spare parts are a major income source. Those are the main arguments against a quick introduction of EV vehicles. On the other hand, tight air pollution regulations are around the corner, EV competition is building-up, gaining experience and recognition. Many of Subaru customers, if not tree huggers, do care about the environment. They are already waiting for the promised Subaru Evoltis, that according to recent leak is expected to show up for sale late in 2022. So like me, they might stick to their current Subaru cars expecting eagerly for the Evoltis arrival. Most of the December 2020 sales decline is due to the Covid-19 impact on the economy. Nevertheless, part of it might relate to those EV-minded, mainly Subaru Outback customers.